RE: Designing a new help system -- Oh boy! ...ugh

Subject: RE: Designing a new help system -- Oh boy! ...ugh
From: "Giordano, Connie" <Connie -dot- Giordano -at- FMR -dot- COM>
To: "'Donna Marino'" <domarino -at- earthlink -dot- net>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 12:28:02 -0500

I don't have to deal with internationalization issues, so I can't even
address that part of this thread. However, I'm wondering if anyone else has
found issues with NOT providing screen shots in on-line documentation. I
did a fairly informal test about 4 months ago with our business QA folks
(former end users who tested the application for compliance with business
requirements). We had two copies of essentially the same help file, one
with screens and other graphics, one with minimal graphics, no screens at
all. The consensus of the seven people who reviewed them was that they like
screen shots, because it helped them figure out if they were in the right
place by comparing. We came to the conclusion that screen shots were
essential for beginners on the system, so we started developing a "basics"
on-line help, that more experienced users never bothered with.

Does anyone else have experience with feedback from users on incorporating
screen shots? How did you resolve this kind of conflicting objective?

Connie Giordano

-----Original Message-----

Screen shots are really intended for printed documentation, not online help.
As Kathi pointed out, the user will already be at the screen in question, so
including it in the online help is just redundant and confusing.





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